Wind. Water. Earth. Fire: The natural elements are the building blocks of the cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky. The fire crackles differently from film to film, the wind sometimes howls, sometimes hoots, the Earth is trod upon and the water washes it clean. Most directors will carefully decide what will be left in and out of the frame, but very few treat sound the same way as the images. Tarkovsky exaggerates the sounds he wants to highlight—whether a water droplet, the sound of footsteps, or a burning flame, it’s all about what he wants you to hear.

Like what you’ve heard? Don’t miss our videos on The Subtle (And Not So Subtle) Sounds of Clint EastwoodWhat Does a Wes Anderson Movie Sound Like? and Playful and Contemplative: The Sounds of Agnès Varda! And take a close listen to Tarkovsky’s sounds in his films Nostalghia and The Sacrifice, now streaming on Fandor.